David Ortiz just recently started running as he comes back from an Achilles’ tendon injury that cost him most of last season, but Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington expects him to be ready for Opening Day.
Evan Drellich of MLB.com passes along quotes from an interview with MLB Network Radio in which the GM indicated that Ortiz may be limited at the beginning of spring training, but “we don’t have any reason to think he won’t be in our lineup on Opening Day.”
That comes after Cherington traveled to the Dominican Republic last week to meet with Ortiz, who re-signed on a two-year, $26 million deal that includes incentives based on how many days he’s on the active roster.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.